Hannah Höch at the Whitechapel Gallery
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Cass Art is delighted to team up with the Whitechapel Gallery to bring you an exclusive ticket offer for Hannah Höch, currently showing at the Whitechapel Gallery.
The Whitechapel Gallery is showcasing the work of influential artist Hannah Höch in an exhibition which runs from 15th January – 23rd March. Looking at Hannah Höch’s early work, nearly a century since its conception at the height of 1920’s Dadaism along with several earlier works, it’s surprising how befitting her style is to our 21st century tastes. So it’s our good fortune that the Whitechapel Gallery is showcasing a comprehensive exhibition of over 100 Höch pieces, including her pioneering collages, watercolours and woodcuts.
Hannah Höch (1889-1979) began her artistic journey on her enrolment at the Berlin School of Applied Arts in 1912, where after a short break in 1914 to work for the Red Cross at the start of World War One, she continued her studies at Berlin’s Museum of Applied Arts. It was in 1915 when she met Berlin Dadaist Raoul Hausmann that her lifelong involvement with Dada began. Living in a politically tense period, witnessing the horrors of World War One, Höch’s work became critical of the Weimar Germany that she called home. Hochfinanz sees renowned political figures collaged together with pillars of industry outlining the deceptive relationship between financiers and the military at the height of an economic crisis in Europe.
Höch’s collection of work pinpoints the social constraints for women at the time. Her ideas and inspirations were political, purposeful and were agents for change. We owe a lot to Hannah Höch, her innovation and influence and the Whitechapel Gallery succeeds entirely in honouring her works.
We caught up with the curator to tell us a bit more about the show and Höch’s work:
What were the challenges of curating the show?
“Hannah Höch is such a pioneering artist, who worked prolifically in many media including oils, watercolours, collage and photomontage. The hardest challenge was really working out where to start! We quickly decided however to focus on her works on paper, since she helped to establish collage as one of the twentieth century’s most important artistic media. Composed of fragments materials drawn from newspapers and magazines, these works are very fragile. We are delighted to have secured so many loans to the exhibition from important collections such at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, MOMA, New York, and the Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, amongst many others in order to present them to the British public for the first time.”
What interesting insights did you discover about Höch and her practise?
The exhibition offers a broad chronological overview of Hannah Höch’s work. One of the fascinating aspects of Höch’s work is her continual experimentation of subject and form which can be seen throughout her entire career. From her early experimental textile designs through to her involvement in Berlin Dada, a riotous movement that revisited artistic and social conventions, her collages develop a political bite. This satire carries on through her work during the 1930s and her significant series From an Ethnographic Museum which revisits social preconceptions of the ‘New Woman’ or the idea of the non-European. The style of her work then shifts after 1945, as her collages become increasingly abstract, revealing an engagement with the latest developments in art through the re-investigation of the potential of the imaginary after World War II.
Head to the Whitechapel Gallery website for more details on the exhibition and visitor information.
Für ein Fest gemacht (Made for a Party), 1936, Collage, 36 x 19.8 cm, Collection of IFA, Stuttgart
Ohne Titel (Aus einem ethnographischen Museum), (Untitled [From an Ethnographic Museum]), 1930, Collage, 48.3 x 32.1 cm, Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe, Hamburg, Photo: courtesy of Maria Thrun
Flucht (Flight), 1931, Collage, 23 x 18.4 cm, Collection of IFA, Stuttgart
Kleine Sonne (Little Sun), 1969, Collage, 16.3 × 24.2 cm, Landesbank Berlin AG